Guys, It's OK to Tell Your Eating Disorder Story
It is finally time to share my story so others can learn from it.
To kick it off, a little bit of a background so you can understand why sharing is kind of difficult.
Here we go.
I am a male on the autism spectrum who has an eating disorder. I’m 22 years old. I was diagnosed with autism at 9 and an eating disorder at 15.
I’m going to tell you about my life with an eating disorder.
It all began when I was 13 years old. I was in my first year of high school and was not feeling good but also not too bad. I had a couple of friends and was a decent student. But still there was something wandering in my mind. I knew I had autism, but so what? Nothing wrong with that. Yet still the uncomfortable feeling didn’t go away. I started to skip lunch at schools. Nothing special, I thought. Then I began binging after school. I began to feel sad and depressed but not knowing why. Later that year, I also realized I am gay.
Then, everything collapsed. I ate less and exercised more. I started to lose weight, and I felt proud. People started saying I looked good. But soon I began to feel the damage of hurting my body. Headaches, dizzyness, no focus, cold, no energy to take stairs. I ignored it all. All I wanted was control, and by not eating, I felt I had control.
And the strange thing is nobody noticed.
I could lie and get away with it. They saw I was getting weaker but nobody realized I was starving myself. I think maybe some thought boys don’t starve themselves. People think it’s just something teenage girls do.
One day I almost collapsed during lunch break. A friend saw me and said I needed help. I ignored them and went to go to my geography class but almost collapsed again at the top of the stairs. My teachers found me and took me to the office. It was the worst. My mentor eventually called my parents, and they took action.
I kind of recovered. I put on weight and was eating a bit again. A huge step for me. This went on for almost a year, but then I relapsed. My psychologist started talking with me about my connection with food. First, I was shy and angry to “give away” so much control to him. After three months, he gave me my official diagnoses: eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS).
In the years after, I recovered with ups and downs. I skipped social events that revolved around food. Eating out was and is still difficult. But in the past year, I began to relapse again, and so I fight more. One thing that helps is to tell my story — the story that guys can have eating disorders.
Tell your story so it can be OK for boys to talk about it, so they don’t have to feel alone in their fight with an eating disorder.
Getty image by Deagreez.